Friday, November 11, 2016

Developing a Sensor System to Inform Automation of Greenhouses

Darren Allison of Millennium Relief and Development Services has recently been engaged by the AC4D team to develop a sensor system for our greenhouses that can track air temp, humidity, and soil moisture.  The system will inform the hardware that he is developing to ventilate, water and fertigate our protected trials. 

Currently information is being generated by a series of sensors that connects wirelessly with a base station which makes the data gathered accessible for use in decision making.  It is no stretch to envision a few months from now allowing our automated hardware and algorithm to water greenhouses according to real time soil and air moisture data in order to minimize plant stress from over or under watering and excessive greenhouse temps.  Overwatering is a common cause for root rot, cold season mold infestation, and oxygen deficiency in the root zone.  Underwatering causes plant stress and severely curbs fruit production.  Finding the right balance is the key to strong harvests and low levels of crop disease.

Darren wiring up the base station for our data acquisition system

The hardware implemented thus far has cost only $226 USD making it easily accessible to local smallholder farmers. 

No comments:

Post a Comment